Saturday, December 26, 2015

Making Adoptable Birds Class of 2015

Becoming a World Renowned Animal Trainer: Step 1 complete. 

I have infiltrated a group of exotic bird enthusiasts calling themselves the Florida Parrot Rescue. I have spent many years gaining their trust by volunteering and being a foster home for wayward parrots. And now I have reached the rank of "Coordinator" or more specifically "Behavior Educator Coordinator" to further penetrate my training ideals into their court. 

Let's be serious for a minute. Last weekend I was given the amazing opportunity to fly back to Florida to take a break from the chill up in PA and teach the Making Adoptable Birds Class at the amazing store Everything Birds in Oldsmar. What a weekend it was!

I'm not going to go into much detail of the entire trip but there were highs and lows, mostly highs consisting of stellar reviews from the audience. While the lows were about the stress of setting up equipment for the class. Through it all I had tremendous support from all of the other lovey volunteers from FPR (especially the lady sitting next to me at the table, she was a ROCKSTAR!)

Part of the class went to Applebees for our lunch hour.
Filling the minds of the audience with the power of behavior science! Yeah! Don't be fooled, it was a full house.
This little guy came all the way from Alabama to attend! 
Recapping what happened after playing The Training Game.
We played 3 rounds of The Training Game so the audience can gain some empathy and understand what it's like on the other side of the clicker! Participants were only allowed to use body language as a way to communicate. It turned out to be very funny!

Spent the next day with a BFF!
And of course if you're spending the weekend in your old town hanging with friends is mandatory. We planned on a trip to the beach in the morning and ended up sleeping in. Then it was a spur of the moment art show and lunch at the cinemas with the brother. Let's hope I'll be back next year!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

All Packed Up and Ready to Go!

So it's been a little while since you guys have had an update. I've been thinking about what to write, I just haven't been putting in much of an effort to do so. Sometimes it scares me, honestly! When I write something it's usually a technical paper where I do lots and lots of research and fact check my every sentence, and that's how I've done many blog posts in the past. Well, not today I say!

You know that dream job you've always wanted, and you were sure that it was always going to be just out of grasp? It dangles barely in front of your outstretched hand, just beyond the fingertips...
But I grabbed it! Not sure how, not sure why, but I did it. And what do you know the job was pretty great, they treated me well and the training philosophy was pretty darn close to what I felt comfortable with. Close, but not enough to make me want to stay. When it comes to animal training there are some pretty picky people out there and I happen to be one of them. I have a strong ethical stance on certain issues so I left without looking back.

I got another job offer in another state (PA) and winter is looming on the horizon of mid December-early January. After 15 glorious years in the sunny, and often eclectic state of Florida, I am left to wonder if I'll ever get to wear all 15 pairs of flip flops in a year again. Well, at least there are exotic zoo animals up here. Never had the chance to train a Camel or Kangaroo before so it should be an equal trade off, right?